Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington has denounced U.S. President Joe Biden’s stated intention to codify a national right to abortion should Democrats win control of Congress.
“President Biden recently stated that if the Democratic Party has control of Congress following the November 2022 election, his top priority will be pro-abortion legislation. I condemn abortion and any political tactic that would codify abortion as national policy,” Burbidge said.
“Fundamentally, abortion ends the life of a precious child and deeply wounds the child's mother. The role of Congress is to pass laws that serve the common good — and yet this priority of the president only brings about pain and death.”
Biden, a Catholic, declared in an Oct. 18 speech at a Democratic National Committee event held at the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C., that “Here’s the promise I make to you and the American people: The first bill that I will send to Congress will be to codify Roe v. Wade.”
The president also pledged to veto a Republican-backed proposal to bar abortion under federal law at 15 weeks into pregnancy except in cases of rape, incest, or threat to the mother’s life.
The 2022 U.S. elections, which will be held Nov. 8, will decide control of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.
Burbidge wrote in response to Biden’s agenda: “We witness firsthand the wounds women and men endure after ending the life of their child. It is clear that they deserve better than abortion. Through various ministries, the Diocese of Arlington accompanies those who have suffered the pain of abortion.”
He added: “Any attempt to codify abortion, rather than to enact policies that support unborn children and mothers, should be met with peaceful, active, and staunch opposition from the Catholic faithful and all people of good will.”
Though June’s Dobbs decision by the U.S. Supreme Court “was perhaps the most significant pro-life victory in the last century, there is much work to be done to make abortion unthinkable and support mothers in need,” Burbidge said.
“The Catholic Church has long offered hope, healing and material support to the vulnerable. We stand ready to continue serving all expectant families in need.”
Burbidge’s statement referred to an Oct. 25 statement from Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, which also responded to Biden’s legislative plan for abortion.
“The president is gravely wrong to continue to seek every possible avenue to facilitate abortion, instead of using his power to increase support and care to mothers in challenging situations,” Lori said.
“This single-minded extremism must end, and we implore President Biden to recognize the humanity in preborn children and the genuine life-giving care needed by women in this country,” he added.